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feelings in lines, for which we have not room; but reminding us, from their fierce irony, their misanthropy, their thrice-drugged despair, of Swift's "Legion Club;" and—as in that wicked, wondrous poem-a light sparkle of contemptuous levity glimmers with a ghastly sheen over the putrid pool of malice and misery below, and cannot all disguise the workings of that remorse, which is not repentance. At length this sad evil utterance dies away in the throat of the expiring sinner, and behind his consummated ruin there arises a "mystic mountain range," along which voices are heard lamenting, or seeking to explain the causes of his ruin. One says
"Behold, it was a crime
Of sense, avenged by sense, that wove with time." Another
"The crime of sense became
The crime of malice, and is equal blame." A third
Nevertheless, the eye of genius is flashing in Tennyson's head, and his ear is unstopped, whether to the harmonies of nature, or to the still sad music of humanity. We care not much in which of the tracks he has already cut out, he may choose to walk; but we would prefer if he were persuaded more frequently to see visions and dream dreams—like his "Vision of Sin”---imbued with high purpose, and forming the Modern Me. tamorphoses of truth. We have no hope that he will ever be, in the low sense, a popular poet, or that to him the task is allotted of extracting music from the railway train, or of setting in song the "fairy tales of science"-the great astronomical or geological discoveries of the age. Nor is he likely ever to write anything which, like the poems of Burns, or Campbell, can go directly to the heart of the entire nation. For no "Song of the Shirt" even, need we look from him. But the imaginativeness of his nature, the deep vein of his moral sentiment, the bias given to his mind by his early reading, the airy charm of his versimys-fication, and the seclusion in which he lives, like a flower in its own peculiar jar, all seem to prepare him for becoming a great spiritual dreamer, who might write not only "Recollections of the Arabian Nights," but Arabian Nights themselves, equally graceful in costume, but impressed with a deeper sentiment, chastened into severer taste, and warmed with a holier flame. Success to such pregnant slumbers! soft be the pillow as that of his own 66 Sleeping Beauty; " may every syrup of strength and sweetness drop upon his eyelids, and may his dreams be such as to banish sleep from many an eye, and to people the hearts of millions with beauty!
"He had not wholly quenched his power-
"At last I heard a voice upon the slope
A reply there is; but whether in the affirmative or negative we do not know. A revelation there is; but whether it be an interference in behalf of the sinner, or a display, in ruddy light, of God's righteousness in his punishment, is left in deep uncertainty. Tennyson, like Addison in his "Vision of Mirza," ventures not to withdraw the veil from the left side of the eternal ocean. He leaves the curtain to be the painting. He permits the imagination of the reader to figure, if it dare, shapes of beauty, or forms of fiery wrath, upon the "awful rose of dawn," as upon a vast background. It is his only to start the thrilling suggestion.
After all, we have considerable misgivings about placing Tennyson-for what he has hitherto done -among our great poets. We cheerfully accord him great powers; but he is, as yet, guiltless of great achievements. His genius is bold, but is waylaid at almost every step by the timidity and weakness of his temperament. His utterance is not proportionate to his vision. He sometimes reminds us of a dumb man with important tidings within, but only able to express them by gestures, starts, sobs, and tears. His works are loopholes, not windows, through which intense glimpses come and go, but no broad, clear, and rounded prospect is commanded. As a thinker, he often seems like one who should perversely pause a hundred feet from the summit of a lofty hill, and refuse to ascend higher. "Up! the breezes call thee-the clouds marshal thy way—the glorious prospect waits thee, as a bride for her husbandangels or gods may meet thee on the top-it may be thy Mountain of Transfiguration." But, no; the pensive or wilful poet chooses to remain below.
On the whole, perhaps Tennyson is less a prophet than an artist. And this alone would serve better to reconcile us to his silence, should it turn out that his poetic career is over. The loss of even the finest artist may be supplied-that of a prophet, who has been cut off in the midst of his mission, or whose words some envious influence or circumstance has snatched from his lips, is irreparable. In the one case, it is but a painter's pencil that is broken; in the other, it is a magic rod shivered. Still, even as an artist, Tennyson has not yet done himself full justice, nor built up any structure so shapely, complete, and living, as may perpetuate his name.
Alfred Tennyson is the son of an English clergyman in Lincolnshire. He is of a retiring disposition, and seldom, though sometimes, emerges from his retirement into the literary coteries of London. And yet welcome is he ever among them with his eager physiognomy, his dark hair and eyes, and his small, black tobacco pipe. Some years ago, we met a brother of his in Dumfries, who bore, we were told, a marked, though miniature resemblance to him—a beautiful painter and an expert versifier, after the style of Alfred.
The particulars of his literary career are familiar to most. His first production was a small volume of poems, published in 1831. Praised in the Westminster elaborately, and extravagantly eulogised in the Englishman's Magazine (a perio
gests itself; for madness, we feel, there is somewhere. It is, however, the madness of genius. It proclaims a furnace of soul heated seven times hotter than even that of commonly-gifted men. And whether the author lays the scene in Earth, or Hades, or Hell, or "Anywhere ;" and whatever monstrous extravagancies of imagery and
"feeding on buttered thunder,") you feel you have to do with a powerful, capricious, ungovernable, fearless, and original spirit, who has dashed to pieces all the tables of common criticism, and whose only literary law is the great and awful soul within himself.
dical conducted by William Kennedy, but long since defunct, and which, according to some malicious persons, died of this same article)—it was sadly mangled by less-generous critics. Blackwood's Magazine doled it out some severely-sifted praise; and the author, in his next volume, rhymed back his ingratitude in the well-known lines to "Rusty, musty, fusty, crusty Christo- | language he perpetrates, (as when he speaks of pher," whose blame he forgave, but whose praise he could not. Meanwhile, he was quietly forming a small but zealous cohort of admirers; and some of his poems, such as "Mariana," &c., were universally read and appreciated. His second production was less successful, and deserved to be less successful, than the first. It was stuffed With Bayley," silver is of no account." Golden with wilful impertinencies and affectations. His images are even more plentiful than words. His critics told him he wrote ill, and he answered figures rush out impetuously, like the pent breath them by writing worse. His third exhibited a of a diver, in thick, tumultuous succession. His very different spirit. It consisted of a selec- pictures of nocturnal scenes, of the glories of the tion from his two former volumes, and a num- stars, are, in our judgment, unsurpassed in the ber of additional pieces-the principal of which compass of poetry. His soul and song swell up we have already analysed. In his selection, uniformly, and seem to fill the concave of the he winnows his former works with a very sa- skies. It is as though a star were to break forth lutary severity; but what has he done with into singing, and proclaim the praises of her that delectable strain of the "Syrens"? We sister-orbs. So, with harp, with harp, and think he has acted well in stabling and shutting voice of psalms," does Bayley's genius hymn the up his "Krakens" in their dim, ocean mangers; heavens. but we are not so willing to part with that beautiful sisterhood, and hope to see them again at no distant day, standing in their lovely isle, and singing
"Come hither, come hither, and be our lords, For merry brides are we.
We will kiss sweet kisses and speak sweet words.
Ye will not find so happy a shore,
The name of Tennyson always suggests to us those of Browning and Bayley. Of the works of Browning, with the exception of his brilliant "Paracelsus," we are shamefully ignorant. But we have read "Festus": and who that has read has ever forgotten that prodigious poem? It is a Giant's Dream-say rather it is the work of a
Lunatic Angel. Everything reels around you.
A deep religion there is in "Festus," notwithstanding all his theoretical crotchets, and artistic absurdities. It is a boy of twenty wrestling with the mystery of the universe; and it is our wonder that he wrestles so faithfully and so nobly. We have no sympathy with his sentiments, but every sympathy with the spirit which animates and adds beauty to all.
Still, "Festus" is a perilous pledge—a glove too gigantic for a youth to throw down. If he redeem it fully, he will prove himself to be, "if he had as Coleridge said of Shakspere, grown to his full height, which he never did, he had not been a man, but a monster." If he do not redeem it, we may be compelled to call him (in another sense) a monstrous, not a manlike, birth; and his greatness may, after all, only of powerful disease, and not of vigorous life and be that of a huge hydrocephalic head-the token As you enter, you find yourself in the centre of a tumultuous dance, in which Comets, Planets, and health. But we hope better things. We trust Stars are confounded. It is the "Faust" dreamed that, by stern self-culture, self-denial, and mild over again-with dread or ludicrous variations, strong exercise given to his powers, he may rauk all the poet's own. You find in it all contradic-nay, does he not rank already?-with those of tions reconciled-all improbabilities accomplished whom Keats speaks-all opposites paired-all formulas swallowed— all darings of thought and language attempted. "What can come next?" is your incessant question, as you turn over its prodigious pages. it we, or is it the author that is mad ?" is another and rather ticklish inquiry, that irresistibly sug
But other spirits there do stand apart
Hear ye not the hum
SUCCESS IN LIFE.
"MAK' siller, Jock-honestly if you can; but mak' siller, Jock," is the advice said to have
* Silver, money.
been given by a Scotch laird to his son. This story could not have become trite if it had not been true. No doubt, it faithfully represents a class of men existing in Scotland and everywhere
else, and the advice they give their sons. The
Disappointment, misery, and madness may be prevented by showing youth what money will and will not do for them in the present day, in this commercial country. There are men who construct their lives on a disregard of money. Such men are often made to feel much suffering from the lofty but hardy career they have chosen. But the staple men and women of society seek only to test themselves by success in life-success as understood by the average opinion of their age and generation. Thousands of parents impress nothing on their children more than the glory of making their fortunes. They do not discriminate the limits to the powers of new-made fortunes. There is a far loftier test of success in life than public opinion, as expressed by the reception and consequence awarded to a man in society. How ever, it may be well to show how fatally the power of money may be over-estimated even in reference to this test. The advice of the laird to his son is a joke which the English people have against their brothers the Scotch, and is just as nationally true as the account of the origin of the new half-farthings, which says they were invented to provide Scotchmen with a coin which they would give away in charity. A discriminating estimate of what money really cannot do for a man was perhaps never more needful than to the present generation of English youth. Perhaps some observant and thoughtful young men may be prevented from venturing on the sea of commercial speculation-a sea in which sharks swim, and over which cormorants hover by learning that, after all, gold is not an allpowerful god.
Great Britain contains an immense number of self-raised men. They are so numerous, as all men who have an extensive acquaintance know, that it is scarcely a distinction, and never ought to be made a boast. They are the men in the ascendant in this country at this hour. Among the country squires, who read little beyond their county newspapers, there prevails a mythos of the day. They believe that Richard Cobden and George Hudson served behind the same counter at York. They see the old families vanishing into insignificance before Factory Lords and Railway Kings. The baronial castle moulders in the awful presence of the counter and the till. Most self-raised men are silent about themselves; but go into the haunts of men, with companions who have been in active life thirty years. Anecdotic biography tells the same tales in every town from
Inverness to Penzance. In the Inverness wool market, they show you shrewd and ruddy-faced men who were common shepherds, and now hold farms measured by scores of miles, and own flocks numbering more thousands of sheep than make the boast of Prince Esterhazy. In the Scotch and English manufacturing towns, you are introduced to men who kept stalls in the market-place, and now own splendid mansions and huge manufactories. With a tone which has long ceased to be used in reference to the owners of ducal coronets with their strawberry leaves, men tell you that Jones or Smith can say My Railway." Such is the sublime of this age of iron. In science and in letters, as in commerce, everywhere the lions are self-raised men. It would be hazardous to say that all the men of real, as distinguished from conventional, consequence of the present day are themselves self-raised men, or the sons of men who have owed everything to themselves; but this observation is not very far from the truth. The men who seem most important are very different from the men who are, and they generally are the builders of their own fortunes. Our countrymen are, for the first time in the history of the world, making a mile in a minute the rate of the best travelling. The workers of the wonder are men of personal and individual enterprise and skill. The nobility of a Watt, a Stephenson, or a Hudson-the first, the representative of sublime genius; the next, of enter prising talent; the last, of commercial shrewdness-cannot be put by a royal hand upon the outsides of their heads, but has been infused by Heaven into the structures of their brains. Commercial freedom, which proclaims that all men shall produce what they can produce best, and exchange with all around the globe for what they need most-the law of nature-has become the ascendant law of commercial nations, and the men who have wrought the revolution are all men who owe everything to themselves. Truth has made the thoughts of Adam Smith stronger than the sceptres of Kings; and though dead he still reigns. Richard Cobden was a bagman, and yet, strengthened by the truths of Adam Smith, premiers and legislators have been his clerks, A weaver boy, and a coffee-house keeper, have been nobly distinguished among the pens and tongues which won the beneficial change. The function of the bar is merely one of routine in the great work of civilisation, yet it derives a dignity from the splendours of gladiatorial intellect which it exhibits. With few exceptions, the splendid intellects of the bar are men selfeducated and self-advanced; or men who could never have entered their profession without the aid of the fellowships of the universities. The Army and Navy have little to do with what is noblest and highest in the work of the age. However this may be, their real power is wielded much more than is supposed by the men of personal qualities. In science, we learn the same tale. This best of geological describers tells us his observations as a journeyman stone-masonthat profound investigator into electricity was a
crown to pleasure. There is a rest in the dignity of the judicial bench peculiarly felt by the man who swept a shop every morning for years in his boyhood. Honours from the hand of royalty must be greatly heightened to the man who has been much kicked about in the kennel of poverty.
bookbinder's apprentice. The last half-century has witnessed one of the holiest feats in the records of time. Missionaries have encircled the whole earth, teaching the divine doctrine of selfsacrifice in the Cross of Christ. Amidst the darkness of the human lot, this cross is lifted up, and the sun gleams on no land where it is not. A Godlike work this! Of course, we all know that People exaggerate very much the advantages the missionaries were "cobblers, and ploughmen, derived from being born to the beginnings of eduand such like fellows." The largest share of the cation and capital. People over-estimate the diswork of advancement is done by the Press— | advantages of being born to a humble look-out. meaning by this word the writers of books as Many men-of whom it is said "Ah! their well as the writers of leaders. In the present fathers were born before them" would have done day, we have seen a revolution effected in the quite as well had they come into the world by Sir whole aspect of English history-the work of Thomas Brown's favourite process of sprouting writers who are sons of the people. A pam-like trees. Men who hold their tongues for fifty phleteer has made correspondence accessible to the poor. All our statesmen profess the elevation of the labouring classes to be the chief end of their efforts, and they were taught this beneficent lesson by the Press. In Philosophy, great things have been done to give clearness to the methods of seeking truth-a revolt has been proclaimed from the materialistic systems of the eighteenth century—a distressed cry has been raised for higher spiritual truths; and the sway in this grand empire of mind can never be wielded by any but great and clear spirits. In short, the men who have emancipated the slave, taught temperance to nations, started thought on electric wings on a race with light, brought correspondence and literature within the reach of the poorest, and practically annihilated the barriers of space and time the nobility of fact― are the children of the people. They are our greatest proprietors. They own the ships whose white sails shine in the sun on every sea. Their's are the roads of iron, the laboratories of the arts, the sanctuaries of skill, the shrines of labour, and the books which ennoble the living race of men, and hold the seeds of the glories of the coming time.
Most of the men who raise themselves hold their tongues about it. Next in paltriness to the meanness of being ashamed of a lot and origin from the oppressed and not the oppressing classes, is the vanity which induces some self-raised men to hold up themselves as wonders. It is nothing wonderful for a man in this country and age to be able to say he kept a shop, or drove a cart, and is an author, a landlord, or a member of Parliament. Men who, finding themselves provosts or mayors, brag of having been errand-boys --editors, who tell us they once were packmen "representatives of the press," who once were tailors-law lords, who formerly were newspaper reporters-merchants worth a million, who began life with half-a-crown-should know that in these feats, in this country and age, there is nothing marvellous. Of course, there are pleasant contrasts in their lives which these gentlemen must enjoy. Alfred Tennyson says truly
"This is truth, the poet sings, That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things."
However, it is also true that contrast supplies the
years about their early day, find themselves surrounded by a generation who honour them with the respect given to old-established, hereditary, and time-honoured importance. The huge factory, with its square bulk, tall chimneys, and countless windows, has been seen by the new generation all their days. Every day, in childhood and youth, they have seen the old grey-headed gentleman to whom it belongs trotting past, followed by his liveried servant, or driven in his stately carriage. Few know, and none realise the fact, that this dignified personage was once a keen-eyed boy, selling hanks of worsted from his stall in the market place of his native town.
Vanity is garrulous, and pride is silent: most autobiographies tell best by a man's own family fireside. Wise men will not detract from the impression of their energy, produced by their success, by an exposure of their vanity.
Money is power-and so is beauty, talent, not to name knowledge. But they mistake hugely, who make money--honestly if they can, but make it at all events. Some men found their lives on the observation that poor men are of no account. They think the poor man is the only real nobody. Money, as power, becomes their object. To make money, it is only needful to postpone enjoyment. Once five pounds a-head of the world, a man is rich; and, if he has sense, may make every sovereign work for him. However, they make a great mistake who, in their eagerness to acquire wealth, allow the least suspicion of unscrupulousness or of selfishness to be associated with their names. What chastity is to women, integrity is to men. No man ever recovers a suspicion of his integrity. At the bar and in the senate, the man who has made a slip of memory in reference to a document, a bargain, or an incident in an election, finds himself, however rich, shunned-his juniors in standing, and his inferiors in talents, are promoted over his head
and his advancement up the natural steps of his career is a generation behind his contemporaries. An atmosphere of cold suspicion surrounds him. His words never reach the hearts of others.
On leaving his lips they become ice, so cold is the air in which he lives. Whatever the wealth of a man may be, if he is generally deemed selfish and sharp, he is made to breathe scorn, and his sky rains rotten eggs. Some of
the wealthiest men in the City of London are seldom named without contempt, because they have nothing in them but money and the qualities which make it. A considerable and ostentatious outlay in charity is necessary to prevent such men from being pelted with moral mud. Generous minds regard them as essentially of creatures of prey, and the sharks, vultures, and harpies of the zoology of man.
saw poets and peers at his table. However,
The making of a fortune enables a man to cross the chasm which separates too widely the gentle from the handicraft classes. His money just does this, and no more. But the newly enriched man stores the future with mortifications for himself, who fancies his mere wealth will gain him distinction in the circles of gentlemen. The tone of good society is equality. Birth, wealth, beauty, talents, may constitute eligibility for society; but to be distinguished in it, persons must be admired for admirable, and liked for agreeable qualities. Inferiority of manners would cause Plutus to be cut, and Croesus to be sent to Coventry. There are very rich people who are never asked anywhere. There are many people, of the oldest families, who are never asked into the best houses of their own party, in their own county. Clever men and beautiful women there are in hundreds, who are courted everywhere. Success in society depends on nothing so much as agreeableness. It is recorded that, at a country house in Roxburghshire, one of the richest women in England, and enjoying the rank of a Duchess, was received by the lady guests with "the cold shoulder." To the interference of the son of an Edinburgh attorney-a poet and novellist-in-tensions of the upstart milk-boy were scoffed at solvent at the time, she owed it, if she obtained civility and courtesy. The parties were the Duchess of St. Albans and Sir Walter Scott. A man can scarcely come among gentlewomen and gentlemen more disadvantageously than shaking his purse in their faces. When a newly enriched lady enters a room, her head gleaming with diamonds, the emotion she inspires is very different from respect, regard, or reverence. James Pritchard was the son of a farmer. Shrewd and energetic, he raised himself from being a shop-boy to have freehold properties in half-a-dozen counties. His name figures as a director on railway and insurance companies. The walls of the rooms and stairs of his mansion, near Portman Square, were covered with good pictures. His equipage cut a dash in the Parks. He travelled about among the watering-places at home, or over the Continent, during the autumn. In the spring, he occupied his mansion, and gave good dinners and gay quadrille parties. At the public dinners of charities, his name figured among the list of stewards-an honour which costs some ten or twenty guineas. He had been admitted into several learned societies, which seldom black-ball any obscure and unknown man; and the name of Mr. James Pritchard was sure to appear in the lists of those present at the entertainments of their presidents. He never met with any man of real importance of any kind whom he did not immediately ask to dinner. He
Forty years ago and more, there was seen on the streets of a great manufacturing city, a smart boy driving a milk cart. Energetic, resolute, persevering, and vain, the boy became a clerk, a manufacturer, a squire. But the gentry of his neighbourhood were slow to visit him. The lordlieutenant of the county did not back his application for admission to the magistracy. The pre
VOL. XIV.NO. CLX.
by his rivals. Robert Anderson was not a man to bear a slight. He would enter parliament, He would scale a height from which he could repay scorn with scorn. Robert Anderson stood several unsuccessful contests. At length, by feeing lawyers, treating electors, and expending thousands of pounds, Robert Anderson, Esquire, of Twisthall, saw on his letters the affix, M.P. His proud step and lofty gait made people who looked after him on the streets, in the first days of his triumph, say-" that man thinks he has no equal." He entered the House of Commons, and he was elected into a first-rate club. His dream of greatness was soon over. The distinguished men of the House, the chiefs of his party, did not condescend to know him. His leader would ask him questions on commercial subjects in conversation in the House, and, meeting him half an hour afterwards in the street would cut him. Robert Anderson, Esq., of Twisthall, Member of Parliament, sat in his club alone over his wine, a nobody. The hum of cheerful parties filled the coffee-room, and he was solitary, All the gentlemen around him were his equals ; many of them his superiors; none of them his dependents. On the topics all were discussing, he could throw no light. Why should any one listen to him? He could not give zest to the cookery, and flavour to the wine, with flashes of wit and humour; and the lovers of pleasure would not waste their time with him. His manners